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PIA Press Release

Indonesia topples RP as top coco producer

by Prix D Banzon

Davao City (15 August) -- The Philippines has been dislodged by Indonesia as the number one producer of coconut.

Jocelyn E. Eusebio, director. Crops Research Division of Philippine Council for Agricultural Resources and Research Development (PCARRD) told the coconut industry stakeholders during the opening of the Kaniyogan Festival at SM City Davao event center on Wednesday said that their move to increase coconut areas and their more efficient production systems had threatened the Philippine position.

She said the coconut oil (CNO) exports of Indonesia are increasing progressively while the Philippines' CNO exports grew minimally.

"This happened despite the fact that domestic consumption of coconut in Indonesia is quite high compared to that of the Philippines," Eusebio said.

She said compared to other countries the Philippine domestic consumption is only 20.18 percent of total production. India is recorded at 102.5 percent while Indonesia, 71 percent.

She said per capita consumption of CNO in the country at 7 kg/year is less than half the world average of 16.5 kg per annum.

Other issue affecting the country's coconut industry is that our dependence on traditional export products and markets is heavy as majority of exported coconut products are copra-based (CNO, copra cake, dessicated coconut (DCN). 90 percent of these produces are used to processed oil.

She said that coconut oil is a mere price taker in the fats and oil trade in the world market thus domestic price increase per year is 15.92 percent while world export price increase is only 4.41 percent.

Also seen in trades and market of the industry are the inadequate intervention in coir industry more particularly on limited support for market promotion. There is also limited knowledge of the market potential of novelty items from coconut and with the limited information and health benefits there is negative perception about the effects of CNO to human body.

She said there is also a multilayered marketing system of traders and wholesalers.

Eusebio however said there are interventions made through research and development (R&D) and science and technology (S&T) and the most notable is the implementation of the Integrated Coconut Research and Development Program covering the period 1995 to 2000 under the Science and Technology Agency for National Development (STAND) of the Department of Science and Technology.

But she said R&D alone cannot solve the complex problem of the industry. It needs holistic and synergistic approach involving major stakeholders to fully propel the industry to move forward.

"It is important that the stakeholders understand the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for them to appreciate the industry better. (PIA) [top]

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